George William Russell - A.E.

While the yellow constellations ...

H.P.B. (In Memoriam.)

The Magi


By the Margin of the Great Deep



The Secret

From the Book of the Eagle



The Protest of Love

Three Councelors


The King Initiate



The Dream of the Children


The Man to the Angel

The Chiefs of the Air


The Robing of the King

The Palaces of the Sidhe

Deep Sleep


The Voice of the Wise


In the Womb

A Dawn Song

To A Poet

In the Garden of God

The Fountain of Shadowy Beauty

The Place of Rest

The Breath of Light

A New Earth


The Free



While the yellow constellations ...

While the yellow constellations shine with pale and tender glory,
In the lilac-scented stillness, let us listen to Earth's story.
All the flow'rs like moths a-flutter glimmer rich with dusky hues,
Everywhere around us seem to fall from nowhere the sweet dews.
Through the drowsy lull, the murmur, stir of leaf and sleep hum
We can feel a gay heart beating, hear a magic singing come.
Ah, I think that as we linger lighting at Earth's olden fire
Fitful gleams in clay that perish, little sparks that soon expire,
So the mother brims her gladness from a life beyond her own,
From whose darkness as a fountain up the fiery days are thrown
Starry worlds which wheel in splendour, sunny systems, histories,
Vast and nebulous traditions told in the eternities:
And our list'ning mother whispers through her children all the story:
Come, the yellow constellations shine with pale and tender glory!

Irish Theosophist, October 15, 1892


Faint grew the yellow buds of light
Far flickering beyond the snows,
As leaning o'er the shadowy white
Morn glimmered like a pale primrose.

Within an Indian vale below
A child said "Om" with tender heart,
Watching with loving eyes the glow
In dayshine fade and night depart.

The word which Brahma at his dawn
Outbreathes and endeth at his night;
Whose tide of sound so rolling on
Gives birth to orbs of golden light;

And beauty, wisdom, love, and youth,
By its enchantment, gathered grow
In age-long wandering to the truth,
Through many a cycle's ebb and flow.

And here all lower life was stilled,
The child was lifted to the Wise:
A strange delight his spirit filled,
And Brahm looked from his shining eyes.

Irish Theosophist, December 15, 1892


The East was crowned with snow-cold bloom
And hung with veils of pearly fleece;
They died away into the gloom,
Vistas of peace, and deeper peace.

 And earth and air and wave and fire
In awe and breathless silence stood,
For One who passed into their choir
Linked them in mystic brotherhood.

 Twilight of amethyst, amid
The few strange stars that lit the heights,
Where was the secret spirit hid,
Where was Thy place, O Light of Lights?

 The flame of Beauty far in space -
When rose the fire, in Thee? in Me?
Which bowed the elemental race
To adoration silently.

Irish Theosophist, February 15, 1893



Men have made them gods of love,
Sun gods, givers of the rain,
Deities of hill and grove,
I have made a god of Pain.

 Of my god I know this much,
And in singing I repeat,
Though there's anguish in his touch
Yet his soul within is sweet.

Irish Theosophist, March 15, 1893


Three Counselors

It was the fairy of the place
Moving within a little light,
Who touched with dim and shadowy grace
The conflict at its fever height.

 It seemed to whisper "quietness,"
Then quietly itself was gone;
Yet echoes of its mute caress
Still rippled as the years flowed on.

 It was the Warrior within
Who called "Awake! prepare for fight,
"Yet lose not memory in the din;
"Make of thy gentleness thy might.

 "Make of thy silence words to shake
"The long-enthroned kings of earth;
"Make of thy will the force to break
"Their towers of wantonness and mirth."

 It was the wise all-seeing soul
Who counseled neither war nor peace
"Only be thou thyself that goal
"In which the wars of time shall cease."

Irish Theosophist, April 15, 1893



Dusk wraps the village in its dim caress;
Each chimney's vapour, like a thin grey rod,
Mounting aloft through miles of quietness,
Pillars the skies of God.

 Far up they break or seem to break their line,
Mingling their nebulous crests that bow and nod
Under the light of those fierce stars that shine
Out of the house of God.

 Only in clouds and dreams I felt those souls
In the abyss, each fire hid in its clod,
From which in clouds and dreams the spirit rolls
Into the vast of God.

Irish Theosophist, May 15, 1893



Still as the holy of holies breathes the vast,
Within its crystal depths the stars grow dim,
Fire on the altar of the hills at last
Burns on the shadowy rim.

 Moment that holds all moments, white upon
The verge it trembles; then like mists of flowers
Break from the fairy fountain of the dawn
The hues of many hours. 

Thrown downward from that high companionship
Of dreaming inmost heart with inmost heart,
Into the common daily ways I slip
My fire from theirs apart.

Irish Theosophist, June 15, 1893



With Thee a moment! then what dreams have play!
Traditions of eternal toil arise,
Search for the high, austere and lonely way,
Where Brahma treads through the eternities.
Ah, in the soul what memories arise! 

And with what yearning inexpressible,
Rising from long forgetfulness I turn
To Thee, invisible, unrumoured, still:
White for Thy whiteness all desires burn!
Ah, with what longing once again I turn!

Irish Theosophist, August 15, 1893


Deep Sleep

Heart-hidden from the outer things I rose,
The spirit woke anew in nightly birth
Into the vastness where forever glows
The star-soul of the earth.

 There all alone in primal ecstasy,
Within her depths where revels never tire,
The olden Beauty shines; each thought of me
Is veined through with its fire.

 And all my thoughts are throngs of living souls;
They breath in me, heart unto heart allied
With joy undimmed, though when the morning tolls
The planets may divide.

Irish Theosophist, September 15, 1893



In day from some titanic past it seems
As if a thread divine of memory runs;
Born ere the Mighty One began his dreams,
Or yet were stars and suns. 

But here an iron will has fixed the bars;
Forgetfulness falls on earth's myriad races,
No image of the proud and morning stars
Looks at us from their faces.

 Yet yearning still to reach to those dim heights,
Each dream remembered is a burning-glass,
Where through to darkness from the light of lights
Its rays in splendour pass.

Irish Theosophist, September 15, 1893


To A Poet

Oh, be not led away.
Lured by the colour of the sun-rich day.
The gay romances of song
Unto the spirit-life doth not belong.
Though far-between the hours
In which the Master of Angelic Powers
Lightens the dusk within
The Holy of Holies; be it thine to win
Rare vistas of white light,
Half-parted lips, through which the Infinite
Murmurs her ancient story;
Hearkening to whom the wandering planets hoary
Waken primeval fires,
With deeper rapture in celestial choirs
Breathe, and with fleeter motion
Wheel in their orbits through the surgeless ocean.
So, hearken thou like these,
Intent on her, mounting by slow degrees,
Until thy song's elation
Echoes her multitudinous meditation.

Irish Theosophist, November 15, 1893


The Place of Rest

The soul is its own witness and its own refuge.

 Unto the deep the deep heart goes.
It lays its sadness nigh the breast:
Only the mighty mother knows
The wounds that quiver unconfessed. 

It seeks a deeper silence still;
It folds itself around with peace,
Where thoughts alike of good or ill
In quietness unfostered, cease. 

It feels in the unwounding vast
For comfort for its hopes and fears:
The mighty mother bows at last;
She listens to her children's tears.

 Where the last anguish deepens - there -
The fire of beauty smites through pain,
A glory moves amid despair,
The Mother takes her child again.

Irish Theosophist, December 15, 1893



Dark head by the fireside brooding,
Sad upon your ears
Whirlwinds of the earth intruding
Sound in wrath and tears: 

Tender-hearted, in your lonely
Sorrow I would fain
Comfort you, and say that only
Gods could feel such pain. 

Only spirits know such longing
For the far away;
And the fiery fancies thronging
Rise not out of clay. 

Keep the secret sense celestial
Of the starry birth;
Though about you call the bestial
Voices of the earth.

If a thousand ages since
Hurled us from the throne:
Then a thousand ages wins
Back again our own. 

Sad one, dry away your tears:
Sceptred you shall rise,
Equal mid the crystal spheres
With seraphs kingly wise.

Irish Theosophist, February, 1894


H. P. B. (In Memoriam.)

Though swift the days flow from her day,
No one has left her day unnamed:
We know what light broke from her ray
On us, who in the truth proclaimed 

Grew brother with the stars and powers
That stretch away - away to light,
And fade within the primal hours,
And in the wondrous First unite. 

We lose with her the right to scorn
The voices scornful of her truth:
With her a deeper love was born
For those who filled her days with ruth. 

To her they were not sordid things:
In them sometimes - her wisdom said -
The Bird of Paradise had wings;
It only dreams, it is not dead. 

We cannot for forgetfulness
Forego the reverence due to them,
Who wear at times they do not guess
The sceptre and the diadem. 

With wisdom of the olden time
She made the hearts of dust to flame;
And fired us with the hope sublime
Our ancient heritage to claim; 

That turning from the visible,
By vastness unappalled nor stayed,
Our wills might rule beside that Will
By which the tribal stars are swayed; 

And entering the heroic strife,
Tread in the way their feet have trod
Who move within a vaster life,
Sparks in the Fire - Gods amid God.

Irish Theosophist, August 15, 1894


By the Margin of the Great Deep

When the breath of twilight blows to flame the misty skies,
All its vapourous sapphire, violet glow and silver gleam
With their magic flood me through the gateway of the eyes;
I am one with the twilight's dream. 

When the trees and skies and fields are one in dusky mood,
Every heart of man is rapt within the mother's breast:
Full of peace and sleep and dreams in the vasty quietude,
I am one with their hearts at rest. 

From our immemorial joys of hearth and home and love,
Strayed away along the margin of the unknown tide,
All its reach of soundless calm can thrill me far above
Word or touch from the lips beside. 

Aye, and deep, and deep, and deeper let me drink and draw
From the olden Fountain more than light or peace or dream,
Such primeval being as o'erfills the heart with awe,
Growing one with its silent stream.

Irish Theosophist, March 15, 1894


The Secret

One thing in all things have I seen:
One thought has haunted earth and air;
Clangour and silence both have been
Its palace chambers. Everywhere 

I saw the mystic vision flow,
And live in men, and woods, and streams,
Until I could no longer know
The dream of life from my own dreams. 

Sometimes it rose like fire in me,
Within the depths of my own mind,
And spreading to infinity,
It took the voices of the wind. 

It scrawled the human mystery,
Dim heraldry - on light and air;
Wavering along the starry sea,
I saw the flying vision there. 

Each fire that in God's temple lit
Burns fierce before the inner shrine,
Dimmed as my fire grew near to it,
And darkened at the light of mine. 

At last, at last, the meaning caught:
When spirit wears its diadem,
It shakes its wondrous plumes of thought,
And trails the stars along with them.

Irish Theosophist, April 15, 1894



I heard them in their sadness say,
"The earth rebukes the thought of God:
We are but embers wrapt in clay
A little nobler than the sod." 

But I have touched the lips of clay -
Mother, thy rudest sod to me
Is thrilled with fire of hidden day,
And haunted by all mystery.

Irish Theosophist, May 15, 1894



After reading the Upanishads
Out of the dusky chamber of the brain
Flows the imperial will through dream on dream;
The fires of life around it tempt and gleam;
The lights of earth behind it fade and wane. 

Passed beyond beauty tempting dream on dream,
The pure will seeks the hearthold of the light;
Sounds the deep "OM," the mystic word of might;
Forth from the hearthold breaks the living stream. 

Passed out beyond the deep heart music-filled,
The kingly Will sits on the ancient throne,
Wielding the sceptre, fearless, free, alone,
Knowing in Brahma all it dared and willed.

Irish Theosophist, June 15, 1894



We must pass like smoke, or live within the spirits' fire;
For we can no more than smoke unto the flame return.
If our thought has changed to dream, or will into desire,
As smoke we vanish o'er the fires that burn. 

Lights of infinite pity star the grey dusk of our days;
Surely here is soul; with it we have eternal breath;
In the fire of love we live or pass by many ways,
By unnumbered ways of dream to death.

Irish Theosophist, July 15, 1894


The Man to the Angel

I have wept a million tears;
Pure and proud one, where are thine?
What the gain of all your years
That undimmed in beauty shine? 

All your beauty cannot win
Truth we learn in pain and sighs;
You can never enter in
To the Circle of the Wise. 

They are but the slaves of light
Who have never known the gloom,
And between the dark and bright
Willed in freedom their own doom. 

Think not in your pureness there
That our pain but follows sin;
There are fires for those who dare
Seek the Throne of Might to win. 

Pure one, from your pride refrain;
Dark and lost amid the strife,
I am myriad years of pain
Nearer to the fount of life. 

When defiance fierce is thrown
At the God to whom you bow, 
Rest the lips of the Unknown
Tenderest upon the brow.

Irish Theosophist, September 15, 1894


Songs of Olden Magic - II.

The Robing of the King

"His candle shined upon my head, and by his light I walked
through darkness." - Job, xxix. 3 

On the bird of air blue-breasted
glint the rays of gold,
And a shadowy fleece above us
waves the forest old,
Far through rumorous leagues of midnight
stirred by breezes warm.
See the old ascetic yonder,
Ah, poor withered form!
Where he crouches wrinkled over
by unnumbered years
Through the leaves the flakes of moonfire
fall like phantom tears.
At the dawn a kingly hunter
passed proud disdain,
Like a rainbow-torrent scattered
flashed his royal train.
Now the lonely one unheeded
seeks earth's caverns dim,
Never king or princes will robe them
radiantly as him.
Mid the deep enfolding darkness,
follow him, oh seer,
While the arrow will is piercing
fiery sphere on sphere.
Through the blackness leaps and sparkles
gold and amethyst,
Curling, jetting and dissolving
in a rainbow mist.
In the jewel glow and lunar
radiance rise there
One, a morning star in beauty,
young, immortal, fair.
Sealed in heavy sleep, the spirit
leaves its faded dress,
Unto fiery youth returning
out of weariness.
Music as for one departing,
joy as for a king,
Sound and swell, and hark! above him
cymbals triumphing.
Fire an aureole encircling
suns his brow with gold
Like to one who hails the morning
on the mountains old.
Open mightier vistas changing
human loves to scorns,
And the spears of glory pierce him
like a Crown of Thorns.
As the sparry rays dilating
o'er his forehead climb
Once again he knows the Dragon
Wisdom of the prime.
High and yet more high to freedom
as a bird he springs,
And the aureole outbreathing,
gold and silver wings
Plume the brow and crown the seraph.
Soon his journey done
He will pass our eyes that follow,
sped beyond the sun.
None may know the darker radiance,
King, will there be thine.
Rapt above the Light and hidden
in the Dark Divine.

Irish Theosophist, September 15, 1895



Twilight a blossom grey in shadowy valleys dwells:
Under the radiant dark the deep blue-tinted bells
In quietness reimage heaven within their blooms,
Sapphire and gold and mystery. What strange perfumes,
Out of what deeps arising, all the flower-bells fling,
Unknowing the enchanted odorous song they sing!
Oh, never was an eve so living yet: the wood
Stirs not but breathes enraptured quietude.
Here in these shades the Ancient knows itself, the Soul,
And out of slumber waking starts unto the goal.
What bright companions nod and go along with it!
Out of the teeming dark what dusky creatures flit,
That through the long leagues of the island night above
Come wandering by me, whispering and beseeching love,-
As in the twilight children gather close and press
Nigh and more nigh with shadowy tenderness,
Feeling they know not what, with noiseless footsteps glide
Seeking familiar lips or hearts to dream beside.
Oh, voices, I would go with you, with you, away,
Facing once more the radiant gateways of the day;
With you, with you, what memories arise, and nigh
Trampling the crowded figures of the dawn go by;
Dread deities, the giant powers that warred on men
Grow tender brothers and gay children once again;
Fades every hate away before the Mother's breast
Where all the exiles of the heart return to rest.

Irish Theosophist, July 15, 1895


In the Womb

Still rests the heavy share on the dark soil:
Upon the dull black mould the dew-damp lies:
The horse waits patient: from his lonely toil
The ploughboy to the morning lifts his eyes.

 The unbudding hedgerows, dark against day's fires,
Glitter with gold-lit crystals: on the rim
Over the unregarding city's spires
The lonely beauty shines alone for him.

 And day by day the dawn or dark enfolds,
And feeds with beauty eyes that cannot see
How in her womb the Mighty Mother moulds
The infant spirit for Eternity.

Irish Theosophist, January 15, 1895

In the Garden of God

Within the iron cities
One walked unknown for years,
In his heart the pity of pities
That grew for human tears 

When love and grief were ended
The flower of pity grew;
By unseen hands 'twas tended
And fed with holy dew. 

Though in his heart were barred in
The blooms of beauty blown;
Yet he who grew the garden
Could call no flower his own. 

For by the hands that watered,
The blooms that opened fair
Through frost and pain were scattered
To sweeten the dull air.

Irish Theosophist, February 15, 1895


The Breath of Light

From the cool and dark-lipped furrows
breathes a dim delight
Aureoles of joy encircle
every blade of grass

Where the dew-fed creatures silent
and enraptured pass:
And the restless ploughman pauses,
turns, and wondering
Deep beneath his rustic habit
finds himself a king;
For a fiery moment looking
with the eyes of God
Over fields a slave at morning
bowed him to the sod.
Blind and dense with revelation
every moment flies,
And unto the Mighty Mother
gay, eternal, rise
All the hopes we hold, the gladness,
dreams of things to be.
One of all they generations,
Mother, hails to thee!
Hail! and hail! and hail for ever:
though I turn again
For they joy unto the human
vestures of pain.
I, thy child, who went forth radiant
in the golden prime
Find thee still the mother-hearted
through my night in time;
Find in thee the old enchantment,
there behind the veil
Where the Gods my brothers linger,
Hail! for ever, Hail!

Irish Theosophist, May 15, 1895


The Free

They bathed in the fire-flooded fountains;
Life girdled them round and about;
They slept in the clefts of the mountains:
The stars called them forth with a shout. 

They prayed, but their worship was only
The wonder at nights and at days,
As still as the lips of the lonely
Though burning with dumbness of praise. 

No sadness of earth ever captured
Their spirits who bowed at the shrine;
They fled to the Lonely enraptured
And hid in the Darkness Divine. 

At twilight as children may gather
They met at the doorway of death,
The smile of the dark hidden Father
The Mother with magical breath. 

Untold of in song or in story,
In days long forgotten of men,
Their eyes were yet blind with a glory
Time will not remember again.

Irish Theosophist, November 15, 1895


Songs of Olden Magic - IV

The Magi

"The mountain was filled with the hosts of the Tuatha de Dannan." - Old Celtic Poem

See where the auras from the olden fountain
Starward aspire;
The sacred sign upon the holy mountain
Shines in white fire:
Waving and flaming yonder o'er the snows
The diamond light
Melts into silver or to sapphire glows
Night beyond night;
And from the heaven of heavens descends on earth
A dew divine.
Come, let us mingle in the starry mirth
Around the shrine!
Enchantress, mighty mother, to our home
In thee we press,
Thrilled by the fiery breath and wrapt in some
Vast tenderness
The homeward birds uncertain o'er their nest
Wheel in the dome,
Fraught with dim dreams of more enraptured rest,
Wheel in the dome,
But gather ye to whose undarkened eyes
The night is day:
Leap forth, Immortals, Birds of Paradise,
In bright array
Robed like the shining tresses of the sun;
And by his name
Call from his haunt divine the ancient one
Our Father Flame.
Aye, from the wonder-light that wraps the star,
Come now, come now;
Sun-breathing Dragon, ray thy lights afar,
Thy children bow;
Hush with more awe the breath; the bright-browed races
Are nothing worth
By those dread gods from out whose awful faces
The earth looks forth
Infinite pity, set in calm; their vision cast
Adown the years
Beholds how beauty burns away at last
Their children's tears.
Now while our hearts the ancient quietness
Floods with its tide,
The things of air and fire and height no less
In it abide;
And from their wanderings over sea and shore
They rise as one
Unto the vastness and with us adore
The midnight sun;
And enter the innumerable All,
And shine like gold,
And starlike gleam in the immortals' hall,
The heavenly fold,
And drink the sun-breaths from the mother's lips
Awhile - and then
Fail from the light and drop in dark eclipse
To earth again,
Roaming along by heaven-hid promontory
And valley dim.
Weaving a phantom image of the glory
They knew in Him.
Out of the fulness flow the winds, their son
Is heard no more,
Or hardly breathes a mystic sound along
The dreamy shore:
Blindly they move unknowing as in trance,
Their wandering
Is half with us, and half an inner dance
Led by the King.

Irish Theosophist, January 15, 1896


W. Q. J.

O hero of the iron age,
Upon thy grave we will not weep,
Nor yet consume away in rage
For thee and thy untimely sleep.
Our hearts a burning silence keep. 

O martyr, in these iron days
One fate was sure for soul like thine:
Well you foreknew but went your ways.
The crucifixion is the sign,
The meed of all the kingly line. 

We may not mourn - though such a night
Has fallen on our earthly spheres
Bereft of love and truth and light
As never since the dawn of years; -
For tears give birth alone to tears. 

One wreath upon they grave we lay
(The silence of our bitter thought,
Words that would scorch their hearts of clay),
And turn to learn what thou has taught,
To shape our lives as thine was wrought.

Irish Theosophist, April 15, 1896

From the Book of the Eagle - [St. John, i. 1-33]

In the mighty Mother's bosom was the Wise
With the mystic Father in aeonian night;
Aye, for ever one with them though it arise
Going forth to sound its hymn of light. 

At its incantation rose the starry fane;
At its magic thronged the myriad race of men;
Life awoke that in the womb so long had lain
To its cyclic labours once again. 

'Tis the soul of fire within the heart of life;
From its fiery fountain spring the will and thought;
All the strength of man for deeds of love or strife,
Though the darkness comprehend it not. 

In the mystery written here
John is but the life, the seer;
Outcast from the life of light,
Inly with reverted sight
Still he scans with eager eyes
The celestial mysteries.
Poet of all far-seen things
At his word the soul has wings,
Revelations, symbols, dreams

Of the inmost light which gleams. 

The winds, the stars, and the skies though wrought
By the one Fire-Self still know it not;
And man who moves in the twilight dim
Feels not the love that encircles him,
Though in heart, on bosom, and eyelids press
Lips of an infinite tenderness,
He turns away through the dark to roam
Nor heeds the fire in his hearth and home. 

They whose wisdom everywhere
Sees as through a crystal air
The lamp by which the world is lit,
And themselves as one with it;
In whom the eye of vision swells,
Who have in entranced hours
Caught the word whose might compels
All the elemental powers;
They arise as Gods from men
Like the morning stars again.
They who seek the place of rest
Quench the blood-heat of the breast,
Grow ascetic, inward turning
Trample down the lust from burning,
Silence in the self the will
For a power diviner still;
To the fire-born Self alone
The ancestral spheres are known. 

Unto the poor dead shadows came
Wisdom mantled about with flame;
We had eyes that could see the light
Born of the mystic Father's might.
Glory radiant with powers untold
And the breath of God around it rolled. 

Life that moved in the deeps below
Felt the fire in its bosom glow;
Life awoke with the Light allied,
Grew divinely stirred, and cried:
"This is the Ancient of Days within,
Light that is ere our days begin. 

"Every power in the spirit's ken
Springs anew in our lives again.
We had but dreams of the heart's desire
Beauty thrilled with the mystic fire.
The white-fire breath whence springs the power
Flows alone in the spirit's hour." 

Man arose the earth he trod,
Grew divine as he gazed on God:
Light in a fiery whirlwind broke
Out of the dark divine and spoke:
Man went forth through the vast to tread
By the spirit of wisdom charioted. 

There came the learned of the schools
Who measure heavenly things by rules,
The sceptic, doubter, the logician,
Who in all sacred things precision,
Would mark the limit, fix the scope,
"Art thou the Christ for whom we hope?
Art thou a magian, or in thee
Has the divine eye power to see?"
He answered low to those who came,
"Not this, nor this, nor this I claim.
More than the yearning of the heart
I have no wisdom to impart.
I am the voice that cries in him

Whose heart is dead, whose eyes are dim,
'Make pure the paths where through may run
The light-streams from that golden one,
The Self who lives within the sun.'
As spake the seer of ancient days."
The voices from the earthly ways
Questioned him still: "What dost thou here,
If neither prophet, king nor seer?
What power is kindled by they might?"
"I flow before the feet of Light:
I am the purifying stream.
But One of whom ye have no dream,
Whose footsteps move among you still,
Though dark, divine, invisible.
Impelled by Him, before His ways
I journey, though I dare not raise
Even from the ground these eyes so dim
Or look upon the feet of Him." 

When the dead or dreamy hours
Like a mantle fall away,
Wakes the eye of gnostic powers

To the light of hidden day, 

And the yearning heart within
Seeks the true, the only friend,
He who burdened with our sin
Loves and loves unto the end. 

Ah, the martyr of the world,
With a face of steadfast peace
Round whose brow the light is curled:
'Tis the Lamb with golden fleece. 

So they called of old the shining,
Such a face the sons of men
See, and all its life divining
Wake primeval fires again. 

Such a face and such a glory
Passed before the eyes of John,
With a breath of olden story
Blown from ages long gone. 

Who would know the God in man.
Deeper still must be his glance.
Veil on veil his eye must scan
For the mystic signs which tell
If the fire electric fell
On the seer in his trance:
As his way he upward wings
From all time-encircled things,
Flames the glory round his head
Like a bird with wings outspread.
Gold and silver plumes at rest:
Such a shadowy shining crest
Round the hero's head reveals him
To the soul that would adore,
As the master-power that heals him
And the fount of secret lore.
Nature such a diadem
Places on her royal line,
Every eye that looks on them
Knows the Sons of the Divine.

Irish Theosophist, April 15, 1896


The Protest of Love

"Those who there take refuge nevermore return." - Bhagavad Gita

Ere I lose myself in the vastness and drowse myself with the peace,
While I gaze on the light and beauty afar from the dim homes of men,
May I still feel the heart-pang and pity, love-ties that I would
not release,
May the voices of sorrow appealing call me back to their succour again.
Ere I storm with the tempest of power the thrones and dominions
of old,
Ere the ancient enchantment allures me to roam through the star-
misty skies,
I would go forth as one who has reaped well what harvest the earth
may unfold:
May my heart be o'erbrimmed with compassion, on my brow be the
crown of the wise. 

I would go as the dove from the ark sent forth with wishes and prayers
To return with the paradise-blossoms that bloom in the eden of light:
When the deep star-chant of the seraphs I hear in the mystical airs
May I capture one tone of their joy for the sad ones discrowned
in the night. 

Not alone, not alone would I go to my rest in the Heart of the Love:
Were I tranced in the innermost beauty, the flame of its tenderest breath,
I would still hear the plaint of the fallen recalling me back from above
To go down to the side of the mourners who weep in the shadow of death.

Irish Theosophist, May 15, 1896


The King Initiate

"They took Iesous and scourged him." - St. John

Age after age the world has wept
A joy supreme - I saw the hands
Whose fiery radiations swept
And burned away his earthly bands:
And where they smote the living dyes
Flashed like the plumes of paradise. 

Their joys the heavy nations hush -
A form of purple glory rose
Crowned with such rays of light as flush
The white peaks on their towering snows:
It held the magic wand that gave
Rule over earth, air, fire and wave. 

What sorrow makes the white cheeks wet:
The mystic cross looms shadowy dim--
There where the fourfold powers have met
And poured their living tides through him,
The Son who hides his radiant crest
To the dark Father's bosom pressed.

Irish Theosophist, June 15, 1896


The Dream of the Children

The children awoke in their dreaming
While earth lay dewy and still:
They followed the rill in its gleaming
To the heart-light of the hill. 

Its sounds and sights were forsaking
The world as they faded in sleep,
When they heard a music breaking
Out from the heart-light deep. 

It ran where the rill in its flowing
Under the star-light gay
With wonderful colour was glowing
Like the bubbles they blew in their play. 

From the misty mountain under
Shot gleams of an opal star:
Its pathways of rainbow wonder
Rayed to their feet from afar. 

From their feet as they strayed in the meadow
It led through caverned aisles,
Filled with purple and green light and shadow
For mystic miles on miles. 

The children were glad; it was lonely
To play on the hill-side by day.
"But now," they said, "we have only
To go where the good people stray." 

For all the hill-side was haunted
By the faery folk come again;
And down in the heart-light enchanted
Were opal-coloured men. 

They moved like kings unattended
Without a squire or dame,
But they wore tiaras splendid
With feathers of starlight flame. 

They laughed at the children over
And called them into the heart:
"Come down here, each sleepless rover:
We will show you some of our art." 

And down through the cool of the mountain
The children sank at the call,
And stood in a blazing fountain
And never a mountain at all. 

The lights were coming and going
In many a shining strand,
For the opal fire-kings were blowing
The darkness out of the land. 

This golden breath was a madness
To set a poet on fire,
And this was a cure for sadness,
And that the ease of desire. 

And all night long over Eri
They fought with the wand of light
And love that never grew weary
The evil things of night. 

They said, as dawn glimmered hoary,
"We will show yourselves for an hour;"
And the children were changed to a glory

By the beautiful magic of power. 

The fire-kings smiled on their faces
And called them by olden names,
Till they towered like the starry races
All plumed with the twilight flames. 

They talked for a while together,
How the toil of ages oppressed;
And of how they best could weather
The ship of the world to its rest. 

The dawn in the room was straying:
The children began to blink,
When they heard a far voice saying,
"You can grow like that if you think!" 

The sun came in yellow and gay light:
They tumbled out of the cot,
And half of the dream went with daylight
And half was never forgot.

Irish Theosophist, July 15, 1896


The Chiefs of the Air

Their wise little heads with scorning
They laid the covers between:
"Do they think we stay here till morning?"
Said Rory and Aileen. 

When out their bright eyes came peeping
The room was no longer there,
And they fled from the dark world creeping
Up a twilight cave of air. 

They wore each one a gay dress,
In sleep, if you understand,
When earth puts off its grey dress
To robe it in faeryland. 

Then loud o'erhead was a humming
As clear as the wood wind rings;
And here were the air-boats coming
And here the airy kings. 

The magic barks were gleaming
And swift as the feathered throng:
With wonder-lights out-streaming
They blew themselves along. 

And up on the night-wind swimming,
With pose and dart and rise,
Away went the air fleet skimming
Through a haze of jewel skies. 

One boat above them drifted
Apart from the flying bands,
And an air-chief bent and lifted
The children with mighty hands. 

The children wondered greatly,
Three air-chiefs met them there,
They were tall and grave and stately
With bodies of purple air. 

A pearl light with misty shimmer
Went dancing about them all,
As the dyes of the moonbow glimmer
On a trembling waterfall. 

The trail of the fleet to the far lands
Was wavy along the night,
And on through the sapphire starlands
They followed the wake of light. 

"Look down, Aileen," said Rory,
"The earth's as thin as a dream."
It was lit by a sun-fire glory
Outraying gleam on gleam.

They saw through the dream-world under
Its heart of rainbow flame
Where the starry people wander;
Like gods they went and came. 

The children looked without talking
Till Roray spoke again,
"Are those our folk who are walking
Like little shadow men?

"They don't see what is about them,
They look like pigmies small,
The world would be full without them
And they think themselves so tall!" 

The magic bark went fleeting
Like an eagle on and on;
Till over its prow came beating
The foam-light of the dawn. 

The children's dream grew fainter,
Three air-chiefs still were there,
But the sun the shadow painter
Drew five on the misty air. 

The dream-light whirled bewild'ring,
An air-chief said, "You know.
You are living now, my children,
Ten thousand years ago." 

They looked at themselves in the old light,
And mourned the days of the new
Where naught is but darkness or cold light,
Till a bell came striking through. 

"We must go," said the wise young sages:
It was five at dawn by the chimes,
And they ran through a thousand ages
From the old De Danaan Times.

Irish Theosophist, August 15, 1896


The Palaces of the Sidhe

Two small sweet lives together
From dawn till the dew falls down,
They danced over rock and heather
Away from the dusty town. 

Dark eyes like stars set in pansies,
Blue eyes like a hero's bold -
Their thoughts were all pearl-light fancies,
Their hearts in the age of gold. 

They crooned o'er many a fable
And longed for the bright-capped elves,
The faery folk who are able
To make us faery ourselves. 

A hush on the children stealing
They stood there hand in hand,
For the elfin chimes were pealing
Aloud in the underland. 

And over the grey rock sliding,
A fiery colour ran,
And out of its thickness gliding
The twinkling mist of a man - 

Today for the children had fled to
An ancient yesterday,
And the rill from its tunnelled bed too
Had turned another way. 

Then down through an open hollow
The old man led with a smile:
"Come, star-hearts, my children, follow
To the elfin land awhile." 

The bells above them were hanging,
Whenever the earth-breath blew
It made them go clanging, clanging,
The vasty mountain through. 

But louder yet than the ringing
Came the chant of the elfin choir,
Till the mountain was mad with singing
And dense with the forms of fire. 

The kings of the faery races
Sat high on the thrones of might,
And infinite years from their faces
Looked out through eyes of light. 

And one in a diamond splendour
Shone brightest of all that hour,
More lofty and pure and tender,
They called him the Flower of Power. 

The palace walls were glowing
Like stars together drawn,
And a fountain of air was flowing
The primrose colour of dawn. 

"Ah, see!" said Aileen sighing,
With a bend of her saddened head
Where a mighty hero was lying,
He looked like one who was dead. 

"He will wake," said their guide, "'tis but seeming,
And, oh, what his eyes shall see
I will know of only in dreaming
Till I lie there still as he." 

They chanted the song of waking,
They breathed on him with fire,
Till the hero-spirit outbreaking,
Shot radiant above the choir. 

Like a pillar of opal glory
Lit through with many a gem--
"Why, look at him now," said Rory,
"He has turned to a faery like them!" 

The elfin kings ascending
Leaped up from the thrones of might,
And one with another blending
They vanished in air and light. 

The rill to its bed came splashing
With rocks on the top of that:
The children awoke with a flashing
Of wonder, "What were we at?" 

They groped through the reeds and clover -
"What funny old markings: look here,
They have scrawled the rocks all over:
It's just where the door was: how queer!"

Irish Theosophist, September 15, 1896


The Voice of the Wise

They sat with hearts untroubled,
The clear sky sparkled above,
And an ancient wisdom bubbled
From the lips of a youthful love. 

They read in a coloured history
Of Egypt and of the Nile,
And half it seemed a mystery,
Familiar, half, the while. 

Till living out of the story
Grew old Egyptian men,
And a shadow looked forth Rory
And said, "We meet again!" 

And over Aileen a maiden
Looked back through the ages dim:
She laughed, and her eyes were laden
With an old-time love for him. 

In a mist came temples thronging
With sphinxes seen in a row,
And the rest of the day was a longing
For their homes of long ago. 

"We'd go there if they'd let us,"
They said with wounded pride:
"They never think when they pet us
We are old like that inside." 

There was some one round them straying
The whole of the long day through,
Who seemed to say, "I am playing
At hide-and-seek with you."

And one thing after another
Was whispered out of the air,
How God was a big kind brother
Whose home was in everywhere. 

His light like a smile come glancing
From the cool, cool winds as they pass;
From the flowers in heaven dancing
And the stars that shine in the grass, 

And the clouds in deep blue wreathing,
And most from the mountains tall,
But God like a wind goes breathing
A heart-light of gold in all. 

It grows like a tree and pushes
Its way through the inner gloom,
And flowers in quick little rushes
Of love to a magic bloom. 

And no one need sigh now or sorrow
Whenever the heart-light flies,
For it comes again on some morrow
And nobody ever dies.

The heart of the Wise was beating
In the children's heart that day,
And many a thought came fleeting,
And fancies solemn and gay. 

They were grave in a way divining
How childhood was taking wings,
And the wonder world was shining
With vast eternal things. 

The solemn twilight fluttered
Like the plumes of seraphim,
And they felt what things were uttered
In the sunset voice of Him. 

They lingered long, for dearer
Than home were the mountain places
Where God from the stars dropt nearer
Their pale, dreamy faces. 

Their very hearts from beating
They stilled in awed delight.
For Spirit and children were meeting
In the purple, ample night.

 Dusk its ash-grey blossoms sheds on violet skies
Over twilight mountains where the heart-songs rise,
Rise and fall and fade again from earth to air:
Earth renews the music sweeter. Oh, come there.
Come, ma cushla, come, as in ancient times
Rings aloud and the underland with faery chimes.
Down the unseen ways as strays each tinkling fleece
Winding ever onward to a fold of peace,
So my dreams go straying in a land more fair;
Half I tread the dew-wet grasses, half wander there.
Fade your glimmering eyes in a world grown cold:
Come, ma cushla, with me to the mountain's fold,
Where the bright ones call us waving to and fro:
Come, my children, with me to the Ancient go.

Irish Theosophist, October 15, 1896


A Dawn Song

While the earth is dark and grey
How I laugh within: I know
In my breast what ardours gay
From the morning overflow. 

Though the cheek be white and wet
In my heart no fear may fall:
There my chieftain leads, and yet
Ancient battle-trumpets call. 

Bend on me no hasty frown
If my spirit slight your cares:
Sunlike still my joy looks down
Changing tears to beamy airs. 

Think me not of fickle heart
If with joy my bosom swells
Though your ways from mine depart:
In the true are no farewells. 

What I love in you I find
Everywhere. A friend I greet
In each flower and tree and wind -
Oh, but life is sweet, is sweet. 

What to you are bolts and bars
Are to me the hands that guide
To the freedom of the stars
Where my golden kinsmen bide.

From my mountain top I view:
Twilight's purple flower is gone,
And I send my song to you
On the level light of dawn.

Irish Theosophist, November 15, 1896


An Ancient Eden

Our legends tell of aery fountains upspringing in Eri, and
how the people of long ago saw them not but only the Tuatha de Danaan.
Some deem it was the natural outflow of water at these places which
was held to be sacred; but above fountain, rill and river rose up
the enchanted froth and foam of invisible rills and rivers breaking
forth from Tir-na-noge, the soul of the island, and glittering in
the sunlight of its mystic day. What we see here is imaged forth
from that invisible soul and is a path thereto. In the heroic
Epic of Cuculain Standish O'Grady writes of such a fountain, and
prefixes his chapter with the verse from Genesis, "And four rivers
went forth from Eden to water the garden," and what follows in
reference thereto.

The Fountain of Shadowy Beauty

A Dream

I would I could weave in
The colour, the wonder,
The song I conceive in
My heart while I ponder, 

And show how it came like
The magi of old
Whose chant was a flame like
The dawn's voice of gold; 

Who dreams followed near them
A murmur of birds,
And ear still could hear them
Unchanted in words. 

In words I can only
Reveal thee my heart,
Oh, Light of the Lonely,
The shining impart. 

Between the twilight and the dark
The lights danced up before my eyes:
I found no sleep or peace or rest,
But dreams of stars and burning skies. 

I knew the faces of the day--
Dream faces, pale, with cloudy hair,
I know you not nor yet your home,
The Fount of Shadowy Beauty, where? 

I passed a dream of gloomy ways
Where ne'er did human feet intrude:
It was the border of a wood,
A dreadful forest solitude. 

With wondrous red and fairy gold
The clouds were woven o'er the ocean;
The stars in fiery aether swung
And danced with gay and glittering motion. 

A fire leaped up within my heart
When first I saw the old sea shine;
As if a god were there revealed
I bowed my head in awe divine; 

And long beside the dim sea marge
I mused until the gathering haze
Veiled from me where the silver tide
Ran in its thousand shadowy ways. 

The black night dropped upon the sea:
The silent awe came down with it:
I saw fantastic vapours flit
As o'er the darkness of the pit. 

When, lo! from out the furthest night
A speck of rose and silver light
Above a boat shaped wondrously
Came floating swiftly o'er the sea. 

It was no human will that bore
The boat so fleetly to the shore
Without a sail spread or an oar. 

The Pilot stood erect thereon
And lifted up his ancient face,
(Ancient with glad eternal youth
Like one who was of starry race.) 

His face was rich with dusky bloom;
His eyes a bronze and golden fire;
His hair in streams of silver light
Hung flamelike on his strange attire 

Which starred with many a mystic sign,
Fell as o'er sunlit ruby glowing:
His light flew o'er the waves afar
In ruddy ripples on each bar
Along the spiral pathways flowing. 

It was a crystal boat that chased
The light along the watery waste,
Till caught amid the surges hoary
The Pilot stayed its jewelled glory. 

Oh, never such a glory was:
The pale moon shot it through and through
With light of lilac, white and blue:
And there mid many a fairy hue
Of pearl and pink and amethyst,
Like lightning ran the rainbow gleams
And wove around a wonder-mist. 

The Pilot lifted beckoning hands;
Silent I went with deep amaze
To know why came this Beam of Light
So far along the ocean ways
Out of the vast and shadowy night. 

"Make haste, make haste!" he cried. "Away!
A thousand ages now are gone.
Yet thou and I ere night be sped
Will reck no more of eve or dawn." 

Swift as the swallow to its nest
I leaped: my body dropt right down:
A silver star I rose and flew.
A flame burned golden at his breast:
I entered at the heart and knew
My Brother-Self who roams the deep,
Bird of the wonder-world of sleep. 

The ruby body wrapped us round
As twain in one: we left behind
The league-long murmur of the shore
And fleeted swifter than the wind.

The distance rushed upon the bark:
We neared unto the mystic isles:
The heavenly city we could mark,
Its mountain light, its jewel dark,
Its pinnacles and starry piles. 

The glory brightened: "Do not fear;
For we are real, though what seems
So proudly built above the waves
Is but one mighty spirit's dreams. 

"Our Father's house hath many fanes;
Yet enter not and worship not,
For thought but follows after thought
Till last consuming self it wanes. 

"The Fount of Shadowy Beauty flings
Its glamour o'er the light of day:
A music in the sunlight sings
To call the dreamy hearts away
Their mighty hopes to ease awhile:
We will not go the way of them:
The chant makes drowsy those who seek
The sceptre and the diadem. 

"The Fount of Shadowy Beauty throws
Its magic round us all the night;
What things the heart would be, it sees
And chases them in endless flight.
Or coiled in phantom visions there
It builds within the halls of fire;
Its dreams flash like the peacock's wing
And glow with sun-hues of desire.
We will not follow in their ways
Nor heed the lure of fay or elf,
But in the ending of our days
Rest in the high Ancestral Self." 

The boat of crystal touched the shore,
Then melted flamelike from our eyes,
As in the twilight drops the sun
Withdrawing rays of paradise. 

We hurried under arched aisles
That far above in heaven withdrawn
With cloudy pillars stormed the night,
Rich as the opal shafts of dawn. 

I would have lingered then - but he -
"Oh, let us haste: the dream grows dim,
Another night, another day,
A thousand years will part from him 

"Who is that Ancient One divine
From whom our phantom being born
Rolled with the wonder-light around
Had started in the fairy morn. 

"A thousand of our years to him
Are but the night, are but the day,
Wherein he rests from cyclic toil
Or chants the song of starry sway. 

"He falls asleep: the Shadowy Fount
Fills all our heart with dreams of light:
He wakes to ancient spheres, and we
Through iron ages mourn the night.
We will not wander in the night
But in a darkness more divine
Shall join the Father Light of Lights
And rule the long-descended line." 

Even then a vasty twilight fell:
Wavered in air the shadowy towers:
The city like a gleaming shell,
Its azures, opals, silvers, blues,
Were melting in more dreamy hues.
We feared the falling of the night
And hurried more our headlong flight.
In one long line the towers went by;
The trembling radiance dropt behind,
As when some swift and radiant one
Flits by and flings upon the wind
The rainbow tresses of the sun. 

And then they vanished from our gaze
Faded the magic lights, and all
Into a Starry Radiance fell
As waters in their fountain fall. 

We knew our time-long journey o'er
And knew the end of all desire,
And saw within the emerald glow
Our Father like the white sun-fire. 

We could not say if age or youth
Were on his face: we only burned
To pass the gateways of the Day,
The exiles to the heart returned. 

He rose to greet us and his breath,
The tempest music of the spheres,
Dissolved the memory of earth,
The cyclic labour and our tears.
In him our dream of sorrow passed,
The spirit once again was free
And heard the song the Morning-Stars
Chant in eternal revelry. 

This was the close of human story;
We saw the deep unmeasured shine,
And sank within the mystic glory
They called of old the Dark Divine. 

Well it is gone now,
The dream that I chanted:
On this side the dawn now
I sit fate-implanted. 

But though of my dreaming
The dawn has bereft me,
It all was not seeming
For something has left me. 

I fell in some other
World far from this cold light
The Dream Bird, my brother,
Is rayed with the gold light. 

I too in the Father
Would hide me, and so,
Bright Bird, to foregather
With thee now I go.

Irish Theosophist, December 15, 1896


A New Earth

"Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims within his ken." 

I who had sought afar from earth
The faery land to greet,
Now find content within its girth,
And wonder nigh my feet. 

To-day a nearer love I choose
And seek no distant sphere,
For aureoled by faery dews
The dear brown breasts appear. 

With rainbow radiance come and go
The airy breaths of day,
And eve is all a pearly glow
With moonlit winds a-play. 

The lips of twilight burn my brow,
The arms of night caress:
Glimmer her white eyes drooping now
With grave old tenderness. 

I close mine eyes from dream to be
The diamond-rayed again,
As in the ancient hours ere we
Forgot ourselves to men. 

And all I thought of heaven before
I find in earth below,
A sunlight in the hidden core
To dim the noon-day glow. 

And with the Earth my heart is glad,
I move as one of old,
With mists of silver I am clad
And bright with burning gold.

Irish Theosophist, February 1896



"From me spring good and evil."
Who gave thee such a ruby flaming heart,
And such a pure cold spirit? Side by side
I know these must eternally abide
In intimate war, and each to each impart
Life from their pain, with every joy a dart
To wound with grief or death the self-allied.
Red life within the spirit crucified,
The eyes eternal pity thee, thou art
Fated with deathless powers at war to be,
Not less the martyr of the world than he
Whose thorn-crowned brow usurps the due of tears
We would pay to thee, ever ruddy life,
Whose passionate peace is still to be at strife,
O'erthrown but in the unconflicting spheres.

Irish Theosophist, March 15, 1896

Present verses were scanned and proofread and made available for publication by Mr. Jake Jaqua.

Last update: januar 2009
Copyright © 2005 Theosophy in Slovenia